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Friday 17 August 2018

Scottish Yes vote will show how positive campaigns beat negative - PR expert

With all eyes fixed on Scotland, a PR and media guru with Middle East TV station Al Jazeera expects the Yes vote to win convincingly in tomorrow's independence referendum. Speaking at the Sharks creative festival in Kinsale, Osama Saeed said the Yes side had won the debate on breaking ties with the UK.

Born in Glasgow to Pakistani parents, Saeed is a SNP activist and close associate of party leader Alex Salmond.

His career began in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. As a university student, he was called into Glasgow TV studios to make sense of the atrocity.

Two years later, he volunteered to organise protests in London against the Iraq war. Saeed says the Yes campaign is about a vision for Scotland.

mantra

He described the No Campaign's Better Together mantra as "a bit dire". The Yes campaign had grown from being anti-English and "a bit chippy" to creating a vision for Scotland.

The 2001 election result is what sparked demands for tomorrow's independence vote.

Studies in the US showed that when a negative campaign is pitched against another negative campaign, the one that stokes up the most fear wins.

But when a negative and a positive campaign go head-to-head, the positive one comes out on top.

That's what makes him believe the Yes vote will win.

Saaed says Al Jazeera has grown from being an Arab TV station wrongly accused of supporting terrorism to one with mass appeal. Sponsored by oil-rich Qatar, it breaks major stories, like schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai's shooting by the Taliban.

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